SoundPractice header image 1

Treating the “Difficult Patient,” by Joan Naidorf, DO

Physicians enter their professions with the highest of hopes and ideals for compassionate and efficient patient care. Along the way, however, consistent problems arise in their interactions with, “difficult patients.”  Addressing a problem that is rarely discussed in the patient care context, Host Mike Sacopulos interviews Dr. Joan Naidorf on her new book, Changing How We Think about Difficult Patients: A Guide for Physicians and Healthcare Professionals.

Dr. Naidorf describes the four types of difficult patients, and introduces simple, actionable tools that every physician, nurse, and care-provider can use to change their mindset.


Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


Physician Leadership and Healthcare Relief: Mission of International Medical Corps.

Margaret Traub is Head of Global Initiatives for International Medical Corps, the Los Angeles-based humanitarian organization that since 1984 has delivered more than $3.9 billion in healthcare relief and training in conflict and disaster zones in 80 countries. As a member of International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team, Traub travels extensively to field programs around the world - including to Syria, Lebanon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Philippines, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Haiti – to assist and to advocate for those affected by crisis. Prior to joining International Medical Corps in 2005, Traub spent 17 years in print and broadcast journalism. From 2000 to 2004, she was an Executive Producer at CNN, overseeing show coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the 2000 presidential election. 

Host Mike Sacopulos and Margaret Traub discuss the mission of International Medical Corps and the current needs in Ukraine and other disaster zones, how a physician can evaluate whether he or she is a good candidate for this type of work, the physical capabilities needed, and how physicians can support the humanitarian relief via financial donations or in consideration of a physician’s estate planning.

Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


The Caregiver as CEO with Jennifer O’Brien

Jennifer O’Brien, MSOD, has been a management consultant to physicians, served as CEO for large medical practices, and held administrative positions in academic medical centers. She describes the duties of CEO in the same category of duties for “Caregiver.” The art journal she kept as a form selfcare during her late husband's 22-month illness, was published as, The Hospice Doctor's Widow: A Journal. Jennifer educates physicians, nurses and allied health professionals about the role of family caregivers and the importance of end-of-life preparations for their own wellbeing and agency.

Host Mike Sacopulos and Jennifer O’Brien discuss the staggering statistics on family caregivers, the time involved with caregiving, the importance of wills and preparation and the transition of caregiver to griever.

Jennifer O’Brien also discusses a range of resources available for caregivers.   Free and downloadable tool kit – At-Peace Tool Kit:  A Guide to Being @Peace with the End-of-Life.


Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


Medical Misinformation, Tech Platforms, and the Threat to our Public Health, with Kara Swisher

Incoming FDA Commissioner, Dr. Robert Califf recently announced his concern about how social media magnifies and disseminates false information about science.

Covering this topic, our SoundPractice guest today is author, technology columnist and podcast host, Kara Swisher.  Swisher has been on the tech scene since the early 1990s.  She has written for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and she started the “All Things Digital Conference” with Walt Mossberg, also from the Wall Street Journal, back in 2003.  These days, Kara Swisher is an editor-at-large for New York Media, a contributor to the New York Times, and a host of the podcasts “Sway,” and “Pivot.”

This engaging episode is a tutorial for physicians on the tech landscape, the lack of accountability for tech companies, and an overview of Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act.  Host Mike Sacopulos and Kara Swisher also discuss how social media has turbo charged the anti-vax messaging putting physicians on the front lines with patients, how platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Amazon and Reddit proliferate the disinformation, and what physicians and healthcare professionals can do to help stem the false information.

Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


Dr. Michael Spellman on “Lucrative Practices”

Starting and owning a well-run, successful practice are two of the most rewarding activities in which a healthcare professional can engage. However, staying ahead of the curve in our ever-changing industry environment can feel burdensome and can be disheartening. The fact is that at the end of the day, clinicians are trained in their science, not in business. This can ultimately result in a costly, inefficient, trial-and-error approach to practice management. 

In this episode of SoundPractice, Mike Sacopulos interviews Dr. Michael Spellman.  He’s the author of the recently published, “Lucrative Practices: The Comprehensive Handbook for Healthcare Executives.” Physician leaders and practice managers would be well served to learn from Michael Spellman’s decades of experience!

Written as a business reference guide for healthcare executives, office managers and professionals in independent practice, Lucrative Practices includes detailed “how to” discussions and instructions, tips, forms, templates and guides that steer professionals away from problems and toward forward moving, financially successful management practices.

Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


The IAP Young Physician Leaders (YPL) Program with Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D.

Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Global Health at the New York University School of Global Public Health and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine.  She joins host Mike Sacopulos to discuss The IAP Young Physician Leaders (YPL) Program and the reasoning behind the promotion of young physician leaders around the globe. YPL was launched in 2011 and is a program in partnership with the World Health Summit, the M8 Alliance and the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT). It is supported by TidesCharité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Bayer Foundation.

Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


The Use of Arts in Healing and Medicine: Christopher Bailey from WHO

Medicine is a mix of science and art. The art may be obscured by elegant science and spectacular use of technology, but it is there. We are seeing increased interest in the use of arts to promote health and healing.  Far from being distinct realms, art and science intertwine in unexpected ways to promote health and healing. It is this amalgam that we will explore in today’s episode of SoundPractice. We will be talking with Christopher Bailey, Art and Health Lead for the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization (WHO)  helped host a symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art focused upon this topic.

Join us for a discussion of evidence-based use of the arts to promote health and healing and social prescribing. This is an important topic with one of the world's foremost experts.

Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


Dr. Karen Nichols on Physician Leadership Skills

“All physicians are leaders,” said American Association of Physician Leaders CEO, Dr. Peter Angood. But leadership requires effort and training. The guest on this episode of Sound Practice is Dr. Karen Nichols, author of the recently released, “11 Skills Every Doctor Needs To Be and Effective Leader,” Dr. Nichols proves useful categories of skills and strategies to build these skills. Insightful and comprehensive, Dr. Nichols helps physicians expand their executive abilities.

Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


At the Intersection of Technology and Healing: Trends in Medical Informatics

At the Intersection of Technology and Healing: Trends in Medical Informatics

Medical informatics is helping push the frontiers of knowledge and treatment of patients. Unimaginable data sets can be manipulated and analyzed to yield amazing results. While patient privacy and data security concerns still abound, no one can deny the benefits flowing from medical informatics. On this episode, we will speak with Dr. William (Bill) Hersh about the rise in medical informatics and the career opportunities that progress in informatics.

Dr. Hersh is the Chair of the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University.

Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at


Physician-Assisted Death with Author, Katie Engelhart

The topic of physician-assisted death is both sensitive and complex. It involves medical ethics, state law, and religion. In this SoundPractice episode we will explore the status and facets related to physician-assisted death. Through the lens of states that permit physician-assisted suicide, veteran journalist and healthcare author Katie Engelhart guide the discussion.  Her new book, The Inevitable: Dispatches on the Right to Die was released earlier this year. This episode aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the topic with insights from Ms. Engelhart, an award-winning documentary film correspondent, a past producer at NBC News, and a foreign correspondent for VICE News. Her book, The Inevitable moves beyond margins of the law to the people who are meticulously planning their final hours—far from medical offices, legislative chambers, hospital ethics committees, and polite conversation.

Learn more about the American Association for Physician Leadership at